Image Data Converter SR Ver 1.0
The slightly oddly named 'Image Data Converter SR' (IDC from now onwards) is Sony's proprietary RAW conversion application. While IDC does support the browsing and viewing of JPEG files its primary function is the manipulation and conversion of RAW files. Processing adjustments (such as changes to white balance, digital exposure compensation etc.) are written back into the RAW file after changing, the original camera settings are always available.
The default viewing mode for IDC is File Browser mode, a window of thumbnails from a selected folder, there are three different view modes available; Thumbnails, Details and Report. Double click on an image to open it in Edit mode, right-click for an options menu. You can copy and move images between folders, copy processing settings and paste them back onto a group of images.
Example of Details view mode which includes a luminance histogram of the image along with basic exposure information (aperture, shutter speed, ISO sensitivity):
Edit / development mode
Open an image into edit / development mode and you are provided with a default view (example here) and the floating master palette bar. Click on any button on the palette bar to display a palette window for adjustments to be made (see detail below). Below you can see an example of a typical setup with the histogram, EV adjustment and White Balance palettes displayed, the image at 100% view.
There are loosely two types of RAW converters, those which are written natively for the platform on which they run (Windows, Intel/AMD for instance) and those which are based around an emulator of the camera's own DSP processor. Most manufacturers supply the later type because it is capable of producing results identical to the cameras JPEG mode (Canon supply both types). The biggest disadvantage of the 'emulator type' is that they tend to be slower, and this is certainly the case with IDC. Change a setting in edit mode and the adjustment is executed in the background, the screen display is updated to reflect this change in about six seconds but the final processing takes at least twice as long (as indicated by a progress bar at the bottom of the window). Below are timings made on our test PC (AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800, Windows XP SP2).
|Open, click on 'actual size'||13.2 sec|
|Color: Standard to Vivid||13.2 sec|
|Adjust EV compensation||* 6.3 / 15.1 sec|
* Took 6.3 seconds to update the 'look' of the image, a total of 15.1 seconds before the progress indicator had disappeared.
Image Processing Palettes
There are three information palettes, ten processing adjustment palettes and one for storing image processing settings. You can display or remove a palette by clicking on any button on the master palette. The settings themselves are stored in the .SR2 (RAW) file itself. Place your mouse cursor over one of the tool buttons (below) to see its options.